Thread: Producer of the Suitcase Pimps production notes.

Posts: 1

Post by muzickbizkid October 21, 2003 (1 of 1)
I found this on audio asylum, pretty interesting read!


"I've gotten a few different emails on the SACD by the Suitcase Pimps and I thought I'd post here and say a few things. First off it wasn't a Sony label release, just an indie project. We approached Tracy Martinson of Sony SACD Nashville about releasing this project in the SACD format. Obviosly the entire project had been done in the PCM format, but I'd heard so many good things about SACD that I decided to take chance and pay a little larger manufacturing cost.
After hearing Michael Wagener's DSD transfers from his latest surround project, I knew I wasn't going back to redbook if I could help it. The disc had already been mastered and the project was stashed away in a Sonic Solutions archive by Eric Conn & Don Cobb at Independant Mastering in Nashville, TN. Tracy from Sony loaned us the Meitner AD/DA converters and the Genex DSD recorder for a day, to which we ran the project down top to bottm from Sonic Solutions into a db Technologies DA, straight into the Meitner ADC8. She then had the project in DSD format on the Genex drive. Brady from Sadie Nashville transfered the project and then it was a matter of just reinserting track marks. The PCM redbook file was written into the SACD project for the CD layer, then off the whole thing went to Crest Audio in LA.

I gotta say that when I received the ref from Crest (you can't get a ref from the mastering lab) that I did notice a difference in the redbook layer. More detail, better stereo image. How this happened, I have no clue. That alone made the format well worth its weight for the folks without a SACD player at home. My first listening took place in a studio in Monterrey, Mexico, with an HHB cd player/recorder going dig into a Sony Oxford and played back through a pair of Westlake studio mains. WOW!!!! I can't tell you the feeling hearing the project that way!

We had some help from a sax buddy of mine, Jeff Coffin from Bela Fleck and the Flecktones. He played on the title track "Love is Grand". It's amazing to hear the air in his sax at the last few moments of the track. Noone else screams on sax quite like Jeff. The out chorus was one insane pass by him, so perfect for the song. The strings and keys were performed by Harry Sharpe, from Wynonna Judd and Donna Summer. He used a Mac laptop running Unity and Native Instruments B4. I think I ran his balanced stereo PCM CIA card into my Avalon U5 direct boxes. Harry blew us away with the strings in "Goodbye" and in "Save Me".

Preamps and mics were mostly in house, except for some wonderful pieces loaned to us by Underground Sound and Michael Wagener. Michael also recorded and mixed "Halfway To Nowhere" and mixed the tracks for "Vegas". All songs were recorded in PCM 24 bit, 44k, with the exception of "Drown" which was 24 bit, 48k. Michael's mixes were all recorded to an Alesis Masterlink and all others were recorded to a mix down computer via AES/EBU to an RME digi96 card, with the exception of "Drown" which was also recorded to a Masterlink when my mix machine decided to die. Nuendo was the recording app of choice and Wavelab was the mixdown app.

The project is a collection of songs written by Brad Henderson & Pete Lauck, which ouline the story of a musician's journey through his dream to succeed to his demise from failure and suicide. The disc plays as kind of a retrospec, culminating in the sounds of his casket going into the ground.

I hope this answered most of the questions I'd been getting. This project was a labor of love and thanks to many of the cool posts here on Audio Asylum, we've managed to move some units around the world. The SACD format allowed the project to retain the origional quality and sound, the way it did at my mix desk. Thanks also to Colin Cigarran at SONY SACD NY for all his help.

Thanks for taking the time to check it out!
John Billings
Producer for Suitcase Pimps "Love is Grand" SACD "